Honey, habanero, peach, sweet and sour, and lemon pepper.
Can you taste it?
These are just a few of the many flavors featured at the 3rd Annual Bakersfield Wing Festival on June 2, from 3 to 7 p.m., at the Kern County Fairgrounds.
What started as an idea led to the experimentation of a wing sauce with friends. Co-creator Kristopher Evans made his one-of-a-kind orange honey sauce, which eventually led to the creation of the wing festival.
“I was just thinking of ideas of what I could do to get my sauce out there. At first, I did a contest; I kind of wanted to do a cook-off just to see where I stand with the local businesses. And then, I thought a festival would be even better,” said Evans.
Evans had the idea and had the sauce, but knew he needed a major element to make it happen.
“I worked with ‘T’ (NaTesha Johnson) for years … and so I was like, ‘Well, if I’m going to do this, I need to partner up with NaTesha because she’ll make this event incredible,’” said Evans.
Johnson, co-creator of Bakersfield Wing Festival, has been an integral part in making this event happen each year.
This year, the proceeds will benefit three nonprofits: Bakersfield Police Activities League, which provides positive self-esteem, mutual trust and respect for at-risk youth in high-crime neighborhoods; Love Water, which helps communities on a global level, but the investment is at the local level, providing water resources; and Upside Academy Inc., which provides volunteer community service opportunities for high school students in Kern County.
Johnson speaks of the local support for the festival: “We have so much community support and we give to local nonprofits, so it recycles itself.”
There will be 45 vendors selling apparel and food and local nonprofits will also have a table. Twenty wing vendors will be competing for “Best Wings.”
In addition to the vendor competition, guests will get the chance to compete against one another in the wing-eating contest. There will also be a heat competition for those brave enough to take on the challenge.
Live music will be made available for the entire event. DJ Ogre, J2 & the Bizzness, Ill Tiempo and Velorio will grace the stage.
For those whose gambling game is as strong as their appetite, Bakersfield Casino Rentals will have six different tables, such as roulette and blackjack.
General admission tickets are $35 and VIP are $75. To purchase tickets and for more information, go to bakersfieldwingfest.com.￼